Not too long ago, the title “Vegan Everything” might have sounded like an oxymoron, but these days it seems increasingly plausible. Plant-based eating is going mainstream – gone are the days when veganism was considered a limiting diet. Vegans can enjoy burgers, ice cream, cupcakes and all manner of other foods never previously associated with a plant-based diet.

Cover courtesy of The Experiment Publishing

“Vegan Everything,” by Nadine Horn and Jörg Mayer of the EatThis! vegan blog in Germany, contains a balance of these crowd-pleasing options along with more traditional vegan staples. The cover photo shows an enticing arrangement of heavily seeded bagels adorned with a variety of fresh, colorful toppings. This beautiful, appetizing photo is only the beginning; every recipe in the book is accompanied by a similarly attractive photo.

The cookbook opens with some basic information on pantry essentials and kitchen tools, a seemingly obligatory section in contemporary cookbooks. After that, the recipes are organized into sections with titles such as “Healthy Start,” “Wonder Bowls,” “Date-Night Dinners” and “Party Hits.” Each recipe includes cooking time, preparation time, and a tip on either cooking, serving or altering the dish. Most of the recipes are relatively simple, making “Vegan Everything” a great starter book for ordinary home cooks, encouraging them to consider cooking vegan.

The sheer number of recipes – 100 to be exact – made the task of choosing just one to test exceptionally difficult. In the end, I settled on the Frittata with Oyster Mushrooms. Frittata is a traditional Italian egg dish, so its appearance in a vegan cookbook took me by surprise. In searching the list of ingredients to find out what, exactly, was in this eggless egg dish, I discovered that silken tofu and crumbled firm tofu are the magic substitution.

To make the frittata, you first saute the oyster mushrooms and onions together. Next, you pour the blended tofu mixture over them. The frittata cooks on the stovetop until it sets, then gets finished in the oven. I found that a 9-inch cast iron skillet worked well, though the size of pan was not specified in the recipe. Raw oyster mushrooms have quite a bit of volume, so I opted to cook the mushrooms and onions in a separate, larger pan before transferring them to the skillet and adding the tofu mixture. The fresh parsley garnish added tremendously to the dish, both visually and in terms of flavor. The tip accompanying this recipe suggests using asparagus, zucchini strips or sundried tomatoes as alternatives to the oyster mushrooms. I will certainly be trying one or more of these combinations sometime soon. This simple, elegant recipe has earned a spot in our family’s rotation.

Frittata with Oyster Mushrooms

Serves 2

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, diced

9 ounces (250 grams) fresh oyster mushrooms, coarsely chopped

10 1/2 ounces (300 grams) silken tofu

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

5 ounces (150 grams) firm tofu

Parsley, to serve

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat and cook diced onion for about 3 minutes until translucent; add chopped mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. While mushrooms are cooking, purée the silken tofu, cornstarch, nutritional yeast, turmeric, onion and garlic powders, salt, pepper, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a food processor. Crumble the firm tofu and fold into the puréed tofu mixture.

Reduce heat to medium; pour the tofu mixture over the mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes, or until the frittata sets. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Top with parsley, cut into wedges and serve.

Lily Horne of Freeport is a freshman at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn.


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